I just finished watching the Olympic men’s 4 x 100 swimming relay in which the United States beat the heavily favored French team.
Some observations. First, don’t say “smash” before your relay, it will come back to bite you. Back in 2000, US swimmer Gary Hall, Jr. said the USA would smash Australia like guitars. Australia then came out and beat the Americans in the relay for the first time in years and the Australians proceeded to taunt the USA by playing air guitar.
Then last week on Thursday, French swimmer Alain Bernard, confident that his team could stop Michael Phelps’ bid for eight gold medals in the 2008 Games said the French would “smash” the Americans in tonight’s relay.
Well, it didn’t happen. Jason Lezak who was on the 2000 4 x 100 relay team, outdueled Bernard on the anchor leg and won the gold medal for the U.S. for the first time since Atlanta.
Moral of the story? Don’t say “smash” before your relay. You will lose. This has been proven twice already.
Another observation. I believe Rowdy Gaines’ voice went up 30 octaves during the call of the race on NBC. During the first two days of swimming, Rowdy showed restraint and didn’t yell or scream and he had several opportunities especially when Phelps won his first gold medal in the 400 meters individual medley. However, during this relay as Lezak was outkicking Bernard, Gaines’ voice went back into scream mode and we, the viewers were the victims. I’m surprised the glass on my TV did not shatter as Lezak just reached the wall ahead of Bernard.
Third, NBC did not need to show Michael Phelps screaming like a madman over and over again. Once or twice is enough. No need to show that replay of his scream for the 10th and 11th time. I’m sure it will be seen on the Today show.
Through it all, I kept trying to write the Week Ahead without success. I’ll try to write it on Monday.